Regional Project Planning

Image: ITS Regional Project PlanningAs the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), SCAG is responsible for preparing the Regional transportation Plan (RTP) that establishes the region’s long-range transportation goals, objectives and policies. Regional outcomes are achieved over a period of many years through a culmination of projects that build upon other individual ITS projects. The Southern California Regional ITS Architecture supports the RTP update process by documenting existing and planned ITS projects, including how ITS projects are sequenced.

Stakeholders that follow the Southern California Regional ITS Architecture ensure that their projects maintain consistency with the National ITS Architecture, which is a requirement for federally funded projects. Furthermore, in California, ITS projects that receive federal funding are required to follow the systems engineering planning process. Information and steps required in the systems engineering process are found or addressed throughout the Regional ITS Architecture.

For projects receiving Federal transportation funding from the Highway Trust Fund and Mass Transit Account, there are certain planning criteria that must be followed. Mass Transit Account funding applicants should review the procedures documented in National ITS Architecture Consistency Policy for Transit Projects, while other project funding applicants in California should take the procedures as outlined in or Chapter 13 of the Caltrans Local Assistance Program Guidelines (LAPG). These procedures are briefly explained for transit projects and non-transit projects in the following sections. ITS projects in California receiving federal funds have to ensure that systems engineering process is followed in addition to meeting the requirements related to the regional ITS architecture.

Non-Transit Projects

One requirement of the Local Assistance Program Guidelines (LAPG) is that the local agency must follow the process to determine the level of risk for the ITS project. There are three types of project risk (Exempt, Low-Risk and High Risk) which determine the process for project funding and development. Local agencies first submit a Field Review Form that includes the ITS Systems Engineering Review Form (SERF) to the Caltrans District Local Assistance Engineer (DLAE) as part of their E-76 Package. By answering the seven questions of the SERF, the local agency can determine if the ITS project is Low Risk (formerly “Minor”) or High Risk (formerly “Major”). The SERF is meant to be high-level project information and can be completed by public agency staff. The list below shows where in this regional ITS architecture documentation information can be fund to assist in writing a SERF.​


SERF Requirement ITS Architecture Resource
Identification of portions of regional architecture being implemented ITS Inventory
Requirements definition Functional Requirements
Analysis of alternative system configurations and technology options to meet requirements Not Available in Regional ITS Architecture
Procurement options Not Available in Regional ITS Architecture
Identification of applicable ITS standards and testing procedures Standards
Procedures and resources necessary for operations and management of the system Not Available in Regional ITS Architecture